Many times have I sat by the water mill
in the damp grass and in the dry
feasting my body upon the wheel splash
slaking my senses;
worshipping buttercup crowns and primrose groves,
my mind free to landscape and sky dream
knowing that havens are hard to come by;
Coming here when the seasons are fair
and the beech woods sing with bird talk;
caressing my ear with their melodies
giving soul reformation.
Observing the change of winter scarred trees,
knuckles of soft bark renewing torn limbs
the buds of new boughs appearing;
It saddens me to see the mill is deserted
the paddles seized by chickweed and gorse,
the stream gentle and ebbing away
through watercress meadows.
The miller who might have been head of the stream,
Keeper and Dam Builder has
powdered his hand between the mill stones,
the last yield of flour having long since departed.
The curious have bought the tack of cob horses,
Coriander grows in the cart ruts.
The gate is unhinged
and the mill purse empty of men.
I see green lichen eat the smooth stone
oak lintels sag over moss covered frames,
and I am entranced by design,
composition and colour –and wonder
what plants have rooted and grown
in this silent omnivorous world,
that will seize on my house, empty my purse
and feed on my bone?